Malware has stolen login credentials for more than 225,000 Apple accounts from jailbroken iPhones, according to network security company Palo Alto Networks. The malware, now named “KeyRaider,” is distributed through Cydia repositories in China — Cydia is an (obviously) unofficial App Store alternative for jailbroken devices. Users in 18 countries are said to be affected, with Palo Alto Networks claiming, “We believe this to be the largest known Apple account theft caused by malware.” The stolen data appears to have already been accessed more than 20,000 times, with the data also having been uploaded online. Some infected iPhones have have been disabled for ransom requests, and some affected users have already seen abnormal charges in their app purchasing history. [via Ars Technica]
Apple has announced a partnership with Cisco to “create a fast lane for iOS business users by optimizing Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps.” In addition to optimizing Cisco networks and iOS devices to work together, the two companies are also focused on make iPhone more collaborative with Cisco’s “voice and video environments” to make a “seamless experience” between a user’s iPhone and desk phone. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins has also written a blog post about the new partnership.
Anticipation is building for Apple’s new, feature-packed Apple TV, and the new set-top box will also feature Bluetooth controller support, according to 9to5Mac. Apple TV will support certain third-party Bluetooth controllers, in addition to coming with its own motion sensitive remote that can be used as a game controller. We’ve been expecting such capabilities to be included in a new Apple TV for a few years now. The new set-top box will support Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11ac wireless standards. This new report also claims Siri will not just be a feature, but a “main focus” of the new Apple TV, allowing for much easier navigation of the device.
Google announced on its official blog that an iOS app rolling out today will finally let users pair some Android Wear watches with newer iPhones. Android Wear for iOS will let users running iOS 8.2+ on an iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 or 6 Plus connect their phone to the LG Watch Urbane. Google said all future Android Wear watches — including those from Asus, Huawei and Motorola — will support the iOS app as well, but for now, only the Urbane offers support. Once connected, the watch will mirror the notifications on a user’s iPhone, display messages, and show info about incoming phone calls. In the announcement, Google makes a point of noting that Android Wear’s always-on display means users won’t have to move their wrist to “wake up” their watch — a clear dig at how the Apple Watch only turns its screen on to display notifications after a user rotates their wrist or taps the smartwatch. Android Wear is going after Apple Watch on the health front as well, allowing iPhone users to track heart rate, distance traveled, and progress toward fitness goals. The app also attempts to provide an alternative to Siri in offering the “OK Google” capability, which allows users to get responses to questions, check traffic or flight information, and create to-do list reminders on the fly.
In a note to employees, Apple retail boss Angela Ahrendts said the company plans to make its popular Apple Camp summer program available to students year-round, 9to5Mac reports. The expansion will also make field trips and programs for teachers a year-round enterprise, with Ahrendts touting “the impact they make on so many lives and the energy they bring to the store” in her message. While the website for Apple Camp hasn’t yet been updated to reflect the upcoming year-round status, the change dovetails with Apple’s retooling of its in-store workshops.
Apple’s hiring of a former Microsoft employee is fueling rumors that the company is working on an augmented reality interface, Street Insider reports. In a note to clients, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said, “Based on recent acquisitions of augmented reality companies, hiring of a key Microsoft Hololens employee, and conversations with industry contacts within the virtual and augmented reality spaces, we believe Apple has a team exploring the AR space.” According to 9to5Mac, that former employee of Microsoft’s Hololens team is Nick Thompson, whose LinkedIn profile shows he moved to Apple in July. The report comes on the heels of Apple’s acquisition of augmented reality company Metaio in May, and plans to integrate augmented reality features into Apple Maps.
After a week of rapid-fire filings in the never-ending court struggle between Apple and Samsung over patents, a U.S. judge has banned any further filings without the consent of the court, Apple Insider reports. A week after Samsung lost its appeal to overturn a $548 million fine for infringing on certain Apple patents, the U.S. Patent office issued a non-final action saying some of those patents shouldn’t have been granted to Apple in the first place. With Samsung still hoping to have the case go before the U.S. Supreme Court, Apple filed a motion with U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh proposing a partial final judgment that wouldn’t take the invalidated patents into account. That sparked an angry response from Samsung, a response to that response from Apple, a motion for judgment as a matter of law from Samsung, and one final Samsung objection to Apple’s partial judgment request that sent Koh over the edge. “The Court has not yet received the mandate from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals,” Judge Koh wrote in her order. “Despite this, the parties have already filed a letter, two responses, an objection, and a motion. The parties shall not file any further motions, briefs, or letters with the Court until authorized by the Court.”
The fourth-generation Apple TV will cost less than $200 and is on pace to be available in October, 9to5Mac reports. Sources say Apple executives haven’t finalized the price, but that it will likely come in somewhere between $149 and $199, either of which will make it more expensive than the $99 starting price asked for the third-generation Apple TV when it launched in 2012. Apple plans to keep the third-generation model available — it’s now priced at $69 — to compete with similar products from Roku, Google and Amazon. The new Apple TV is expected to be introduced at Apple’s September 9 event and the new set-top box is said to include new features like Siri integration, a motion-sensitive remote, and a drastically redesigned user interface.
Apple will be discontinuing support for another series of its older products, which are being moved to “Obsolete” status as of September 8th, 9to5Mac reports. According to internal documents from Apple, the report notes that the original first-generation Apple TV, fifth-generation iPod nano, second- and third-generation iPod touch, and third-generation iPod shuffle will be designated as “Obsolete” in Asia-Pacific/Canada/EU/Japan/Latin America and all Apple Retail Stores, while these models will be designated as “Vintage” in the U.S., where Apple is still required to provide hardware service for a longer period of time as required by California law. The iPod classic and third-generation iPod nano will be declared as “Obsolete” in all markets. Apple typically declares products “Vintage” when they have not been manufactured for more than five years, but less than seven. “Obsolete” products are those that have not been manufactured for more than seven years.
Apple’s signifcant update to its upcoming Apple TV set-top box is expected to feature some significant user experience improvements, according to a new report by TechCrunch. While many of the details such as the inclusion of Apple’s A8 processor, a touch-based remote, and an SDK for developers to take advantage of have already been revealed previously, this latest report suggests that all of this will combine to create a vastly better user experience from the current three-year-old Apple TV platform.
The new remote is expected to be larger and thicker, including a Touchpad area at the top and a microphone for Siri, confirming earlier reports — however, new information reveals that the remote will also be motion sensitive, “likely including several axis’ worth of sensors that put its control on par with a Nintendo Wii remote.” This suggests that the new Apple TV remote could effectively double as a game controller. The report also suggests that Apple will be get more performance out of the A8 CPU as it will not have to contend with battery life concerns from a device that is plugged into a wall, and will thereby be able to support an updated user interface that will provide “much better effects and navigational improvements” which will be particularly appreciated by users with large libraries. Sources indicate that the new experience is expected to “blow away” existing television and home media interfaces, describing it as the “first real Apple TV product.”
Pricing remains a major sticking point in Apple’s negotiations with content providers for its proposed subscription television service, according to a new report from The Information. Although Apple had been planning to unveil a new TV service as early as this fall, and was reported to be making progress in negotiations in June, more recent reports have indicated that the service isn’t expected to debut until 2016, citing talks that have been progressing more slowly than expected.
This latest report provides some insight, indicating that the major sticking point in negotiations is Apple’s desire to hold consumer pricing to roughly $40 per month, which is said to be considerably less than the media companies want to license their TV content to the service. This echoes similar difficulties Apple had in negotiations with record labels last fall, with Apple eventually capitulating. Despite the uncertain future of a television subscription service, Apple still plans to debut new Apple TV hardware in September, but will likely focus on integration with HomeKit and security. [via AppleInsider]
Ian Rogers, one of the key executives behind the Apple Music launch, has now left Apple, the Financial Times reports. Rogers originally headed up the Beats Music subscription service prior to the company’s acquisition by Apple in 2014, after which he was appointed to a senior director position with Apple Music, responsible for iTunes Radio and the new Beats 1 radio service. According to people familiar with the situation, he is now leaving to work for a European company in an unrelated industry, a move that came as a surprise to his colleagues when he announced his resignation. Apple confirmed that Rogers is leaving but did not provide any further comment.
Apple has announced a new Apple Pay deal with credit card processing firm PayAnywhere, CNBC reports. The new arrangement allows Apple Pay to be accepted at any PayAnywhere credit card reader — currently in place in More than 300,000 locations throughout the U.S. As part of the deal, Apple will also become the exclusive seller for the newest version of the PayAnywhere reader in its retail stores. To promote the new deal, PayAnywhere is also offering no processing fees for the first $5,000 in Apple Pay transactions for new users.
A new tweet from Steve Hemmerstoffer of OnLeaks shows more leaked photos of iPhone 6S packaging that would appear to confirm that Apple plans to release a 16GB version of the iPhone 6S, contrary to earlier speculation that the lowest-capacity device would be dropped in the next release. The leak notably also matches a report from early July that analyzed components purported to come from an iPhone 6S, identifying a 16GB Toshiba memory chip among them.
Apple has sent out media invitations to its September 9 event. The invites show a stylized top of the Apple logo with the phrase “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” As rumored earlier today, the event is being held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, and as usual will be held at 10 a.m. Pacific time. It’s expected that we’ll see the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus debuted at the event, alongside a new Apple TV as well as official launch dates for iOS 9 and watchOS 2. As implied by the invitations tagline, Siri has now begun responding with cute and cryptic responses around the date of September 9th to the phrase “Siri, give me a hint.”
The iPhone 6S will include a screen-based front flash mode, 9to5Mac reports. The article also bolsters claims of a report from last month that the camera will be upgraded to 12MP and support 4K video recording. Apple is expected to move from its current 8-megapixel sensor design to a custom 12-megapixel image sensor in both the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, along with an upgraded image signal processor that will be built into the new A9 system-on-a-chip. The new iPhones will also reportedly include an upgraded front FaceTime camera sensor for higher quality video calls and selfies, along with front-facing panorama shots and slow motion 720p video. Although contrary to earlier rumors, the new iPhone will not sport a physical LED on the front, the “flash mode” will illuminate an entirely white screen when the shutter button is pressed to simulate a flash when photos are taken — a feature that has already been implemented previously in some third-party apps such as Snapchat.
Update: 9to5Mac has added an additional report noting that the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus models will be available in a new “Rose Gold” color option, similar to that of the Apple Watch, although made from anodized aluminum rather than actual gold. The color is described as a “copper-like variation” on the existing gold color option. The front will be the same white color as the white and standard gold iPhone models.
Apple is expected to bring its Apple Watch Motion wallpaper feature to the iPhone 6S, according to 9to5Mac. Sources that have used internal iPhone 6S prototypes have revealed that it will support a new set of animated wallpapers that come from the same family as the “Motion” watchfaces of the Apple Watch, sporting images such as jellyfish, butterflies, and flowers. The iPhone 6S will reportedly include wallpapers such as sets of animated fish, a koi pond, and colorful arrays of smoke. This report also lends credence to a leaked packaging photo that shows a swimming fish on the box. Although sources noted that the animation features may not make it into the final iPhone 6S product, the leaked packaging suggests that it’s likely ready to go.
A new report from Chinese site cnBeta (Google Translate Link) suggests that the iPhone 6S Plus will be getting a lower-capacity battery compared to the iPhone 6 Plus that is currently on the market – 2750 mAh as compared to 2910 mAh in the current model. The report also includes a leaked low-quality photo of alleged iPhone 6S Plus packaging, showing a wallpaper of a goldfish swimming, although it suggests that the wallpaper may be different depending on the iPhone’s color.
A report has appeared in Hoodline, a local San Francisco neighborhood news site, that Apple is behind a “mystery event” being planned at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The venue has reportedly been booked through mid-September, and security personnel are already on constant duty with heavy equipment being moved in. Official documents simply reference a “trade show” scheduled for the week of September 4-10, however no companies or organizations seem to have any plans to host a trade show, and a source now confirms to Hoodline that the activity is specifically in preparation for an Apple event, revealing documents showing that Apple is renting the building through September 12. This corroborates a report from earlier this month that Apple is planning to hold its iPhone event on September 9.
Taiwan’s top court ruled that a former senior director of R&D at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company stole the trade secrets that enabled Samsung to produce A9 chips for Apple devices, DigiTimes reports. Samsung seemed to have lost Apple’s chip business to TSMC in 2013, when Apple signed a three-year deal with TSMC to produce its A8 and A9 chips. But after ex-TSMC employee Liang Mong-song allegedly helped Samsung shrink the size of the transistors in its chips, Apple turned back to Samsung to produce the A9 chip earlier this year. A report compiled by third-party experts shows that while older Samsung chips are very different in design from TSMC’s chips, newer models are almost impossible to tell apart. “It could be hard to tell (if the product) came from Samsung or TSMC if only structural analysis is used,” the report states. Liang taught at a Samsung-sponsored university in South Korea after leaving TSMC’s advanced modules technology division, then became CTO of Samsung’s system LSI division in July 2011. TSMC sued Liang in 2011 over trade secrets, and this latest ruling prohibits Liang from working for Samsung in any form until December 31, 2015. [via 9to5Mac]